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https://www.duolingo.com/KyleBotten

How to get over frustration of learning 60 versions of every word :(

KyleBotten
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I have been at this (learning Spanish from English) for 4 months now and although Duolingo is helping immensely with not worrying about memorization, and just practicing with random sentence translation over and over... however, I feel like I am plateauing with not knowing the exact conjugated form of verbs, even though I know the correct word. For everyone that says English is hard to learn, it's nice that we don't have gender or more than just a few different forms of verbas (swim, swam, swum)... It's somewhat unrewarding to know the spanish word for an english word but still be wrong in the translation.... Anyone have any "getting over the hump" advice for this topic? Thanks! -Kyle

3 years ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Don't rely solely on Duolingo. Use outside resources. SpanishDict.com is exceptional.

Grammar: http://www.spanishdict.com/grammar
Free video/flashcard lessons: http://www.spanishdict.com/learn/courses
Conjugator: http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugation

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

spanishdict.com verb charts will help. spanish verbs are broken into three categories: -ar, er, ir endings for the infinitive. for each of these types of verbs, the regular verbs (non-stem-changing) will usually conjugate the same as other verbs in the same category. Once you recognize the formulas you will be able to conjugate new verbs you learn without consulting a chart. Compare two regular -ar verbs, Hablar (to speak) and Esperar (To hope/to wait)

yo hablo, tu' hablas, el/ella/ud. habla, nosotros hablamos, ellos/ellas/uds. hablan

now look at the endings for esperar, compared to hablar...

yo espero, tu' esperas, el/ella/ud. espera, nosotros esperamos, ellos/ellas/uds. esperan

notice the five endings are the same: o, as, a, amos, an. This will usually be true for all regular -ar verbs. Similar patterns are true for -er and -ir verbs. This example is for present tense indicative, but the other tenses and moods have their own patterns that hold true across verbs. It is a lot to remember, but that is the crux of learning spanish, memorizing verb formulas that you apply to base words. Unfortunately, not all verbs fall into neat little patterns, the irregular verbs will need some straight memorization as opposed to forumlas, because there aren't always patterns to the stem changing verbs.

Study regular verbs in each of the three types and you will begin to memorize the formulas for those. Once you know present and preterit, and ir + a + infinitive for Future Phrasal expressions, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can correctly express in Spanish. Buena suerte.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
_pinkodoug_
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I think trying to memorize all of the various conjugations for every verb is just setting yourself up for frustration. There are specific rules that govern how a given verb conjugates - even for most of the irregulars (e.g. stem changing under stress, etc.). The key is to learn the rules that cover the vast majority of instances and then filling in with the ones you just have to learn.

As lrtward mentions, you will need to look to other sources for this. In addition to the resources at spanishdict.com that she recommends, I'd suggest checking out the grammar section of studyspanish.com. There's also a lot of useful info to be found at spanish.about.com and in the Professor Jason's Spanish Videos.

cGlua29kb3Vn

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElimGarak

I'd also suggest challenging yourself by watching Destinos: http://learner.org/series/destinos/watch/ep2/ it should help you get used to hearing Spanish and from there you can listen to more radio programs or t.v. channels online in Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danainai

utilise other resources. there are tons out there for free.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AwkwardCactus

I'm kinda in the same boat as you, I'm giving you advice that I've been given. Try reading, listening to music, watching tv, all in Spanish of course. Still memorize (http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/VERBLIST.HTM), but do something fun as well (surf youtube for videos) Also, I was talking to a friend who speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and English, she even mixes up some words and said that it takes 3 years to "learn" a language. Time is important, make it fun. Good Luck!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/R_J_King

I have a similar problem! In my case, I have decided that Duolingo is the hobby I use as daily mental excercise. I might one day learn to speak some Spanish - although I sometimes despair of ever doing so - but in the meantime I just keep excercising the old grey matter and hope for the best!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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I think once you're used to most verbs and using them on Duolingo, it would actually help to look up the grammar rules they normally teach first in schools. So learning the different -ar, -er, -ir conjugations in the different tenses and the irregularities. Verbs are possibly the hardest part in Spanish, so hang in there.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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however, I feel like I am plateauing with not knowing . . .

It's just a feeling. Eventually you will get over it. I wouldn't worry so much about what English has that Spanish does not have and vice-versa. Just understand that feelings are part of the process. Do you remember how it felt when you didn't know anything at all in your target L2? Do you remember when you were just Level 2? You're not plateauing, you're brains are just readjusting to your new reality.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/R_J_King

They do say that when we learn a new language we are effectively 're-wiring' the brain. Forming new neural pathways etc.. So it is something that can't be rushed , despite all the claims of being fluent in three months or six months, whatever... It also doesn't have much to do with IQ. I teach driving, and some people take to it immediately and find it easy - others struggle mightily and take a long time.
I see eminent scientists with a pHd who often find it hard - and when they fail their driving test, it is often the first test of any sort that they have ever failed! I guess we just need to be patient with ourselves and keep plugging away. I also have to remind myself that when I was in Spain recently, I saw at least one individual who appeared to be about as bright as an amoeba..... yet even HE was able to speak the lingo.... So there has to be hope for us yet!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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I totally hear you. There have been a couple of times where I heard some one speak in Spanish but I thought it was English. There was once a time some one asked me a question in Spanish and I replied quickly en espaƱol. I was unaware at the moment that I was speaking Spanish. It was surreal, because I didn't try. If you stop and ask me if I know Spanish, or if I'm fluent. I will quickly tell you no. If I try, then I'll pause, mutter, and spend too much time trying to process what I'm saying.

So now, I pretty much worrying about when I will learn Spanish, while I enjoy movies and other video content in Spanish. Sure, I only understand 35-60% of the content. That's OK. It's fun. I feel some frustration but I understand that your muscles grow when you're sleeping, not in the gym.

3 years ago